Taxes, taxes, taxes! We all hate them and hate filing them but sometimes we've just got to power through. Belastingaangifte means filing your taxes, specifically your income taxes, in the Netherlands. This means you need to pay tax on your Dutch income in the Netherlands. If you have a side-job as a student, however, you can apply for loonheffingskorting and maybe even get money back after filing your taxes. So basically, if you're eligible, not filing your taxes could be a waste of your money. Stay with us as we explain below.
Who needs to do belastingaangifte?
As a student, Dutch or international, you are highly recommended to do belastingaangifte if you have a (part-time) job and your employer is deducting taxes from your salary. As students have high study costs and low incomes, you're highly likely to get money back from the government. This is where the loonheffingskorting comes into play. However, it is not necessary to file your income tax for your job as a student. If you work and are not a student, then you do need to do belastingaangifte.
If you have a job or an internship as a required part of your studies, you might have received a stipend from the government for doing so. You are likely able to get money back from the government by filing your income taxes as you probably paid the tax rate that employees of the company are paying.
Income from abroad?
If you live in the Netherlands - whether it is as a student or working resident - and have income from another country, then you should also file your income taxes. Income is income and it doesn't matter where it comes from. This also means that, for example, a monetary gift from your parents is a form of income.
If you apply for state-issued allowances, such as health insurance allowance or rent allowance, you need to file your income tax, otherwise, you will not be eligible. An estimation will need to be provided in case you are new to the country.
If you are an entrepreneur in the Netherlands, belastingaangifte is a little more complicated and it might be a good idea to contact a Dutch specialist to help you file your taxes to avoid penalties or fines - as it is mandatory to file taxes as an entrepreneur. A Dutch specialist will be able to help you in English, whereas the Dutch tax authorities are not.
How do you do it?
The Dutch tax website breaks down filing income taxes into 4 steps: preparing, filling in the tax document, checking your information is correct, and signing and sending the document.
Try to finish your tax filing before May 1st to get your money back or tax calculations from the government as soon as possible (before September). Doing it after May 1st could mean you'll have to wait a few months.
To prepare for filing your taxes, you should have the following information by hand:
- Dutch bank account number
- Your DigiD
- Your expenses from the tax year, such as costs of studying
- Summary of your bank checkings account from the tax year
- Yearly summary of your bank savings account from the tax year
- Yearly summary of your investments from the tax year
- Oversight of any other foreign income/expenses/savings
Filling in the tax document
Visit the belastingdienst website and login with your DigiD. Choose the tab "inkomstenbelasting" (income taxes) and then choose your "belastingjaar" (tax year) for which you would like to file. Then choose "Ik Wil: aangifte inkomstenbelasting doen" (I want to file my income taxes). Fill in the form with the information you collected in your preparation phase.
Double checking your information
It is important to make sure that you only submit correct information to the government. Not submitting correct information could result in incorrect tax returns and eventually in fines. In order to double-check whether the information you submitted is accurate, there is always a possibility to return to previous sections in your tax document.
Signing and Submitting
When you've filled in the form and double-checked your entries, it's time to sign and submit. Congratulations, you're finally done!
Even after submitting the tax form, there is a possibility to return and review what you've submitted.
Still not sure if you should do belastingaangifte or do you need guidance through the application process? You're not the only one! Martijn Hartog at Hartog Finance is happy to help you figure things out and get things done.
College Life hopes to have helped you get one step closer to figuring out life in the Netherlands. Did you like this article? Check out our Getting Started section to find out more about how to navigate life as an international in the Netherlands.